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After resting for a while and recovering from our crazy bus ride, we decided to go out and explore this ancient city.  The area where we were staying was called Plaka, and it was full of quaint winding streets and alleyways that surround the Acropolis.  Some alleyways lead to rooftop terrace restaurants with beautiful views over the monument, some lead to street cafes full of people drinking frappes (Greek foam-covered ice coffee drink) and cooking souvlaki (meat chunks on a skewer) and while others are filled with standard souvenir shops.  The way restaurants work here is kind of cool too:  Sometimes they have menus but they aren’t really used that much.  Basically, you just walk into the kitchen, see what they have prepared for that day and point to what you want.  We stopped at one and had a great Greek salad (the first of about 20 that we would have over the next few weeks), moussaka (eggplant, potato and ground lamb dish), and plate of roasted lamb.

Then we made it over to the new Acropolis museum.  The museum has some cool exhibits and explanations of the Acropolis but we thought that the building itself was the best part.  The museum sits on top of an old archeological site and big sections of the museum have glass floors so you can see down into the excavations.

The next morning we went to the Acropolis itself.  We learned that there is a very brief window in which the Acropolis can be enjoyed.  It opens at 8:00 am, we arrived at about 8:30, and by 9:00 all of the tour busses had arrived and it was too crowded to move.  For that brief window though, the site was pretty amazing.  It’s hard to imagine that such a building could be constructed so long ago.  It’s a bit sad to see surrounded by so much scaffolding and reconstruction (perhaps indefinitely) but it was still majestic.  We spent the rest of the day meandering around the various neighborhoods admiring the ancient ruins scattered that are commingled with modern developments.  Along the way we popped into a Greek bakery for some delicious pastries and picked up some awesome seafood with a bottle of retsina (a quirky white wine that is aged in pine barrels so it kind of tastes like a christmas tree…in a good way).

I had heard from a few people that had visited Athens long ago that it was a gross city that should generally be avoided.  I am happy to say that this was not the case at all.  We really liked Athens.  The people were super friendly, the food was outstanding and relatively affordable, and the sense of history that is created by the ancient monuments mixing with the modern city really gave it a strong sense of place.

  • View from the New Acropolis Museum
  • View of the Acropolis from Our Hotel
  • Mandy at the Acropolis
  • Mandy and Adam at the Acropolis
  • Acropolis Under Construction
  • Tall Mandy at the Front of the Acropolis
  • Woohoo!
  • Caryatids
  • Ionian Column
  • Columns
  • Athens-11
  • Pantheon From Afar
  • Super WInd
  • Athens-14
  • Athens-15
  • Retsina and Seafood Salad
  • Athens Feast
  • Greek Salad
  • Souvlaki
  • Souvlaki
  • Heading Off the Islands

Posted: October 12, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe, Greece


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